Regulating Access to websites using Schedules and Site and content rules.

There are certain times when it is vital that your bandwidth is fully utilized for business purposes. Most of the time you can look at the logs, as the ISA administrator you can determine prominent patterns that occur during each day.  A good example of this is Internet mail websites that are excessively hit during the first two to three hours of the morning each day, and during lunch time.  Traffic like this can become a problem if it persists and people are trying to work on internet resources that have valid business uses.  To counter this phenomenon from happening I normally create a site and content rule and assign a schedule to it in order to be able to block the users to the site/s during the times when bandwidth is thin.


 



 


Schedules


 


Schedules are used like calendar dates. They determine at what time rules are active or inactive.  This makes ISA very versatile as you might need to make some rules active only during working hours or inactive and less restrictive on weekends.  Schedules offer a form of bandwidth control if applied correctly.


 




The above diagram displays where Schedules can be found.


 



The above diagram displays the schedule screen that can be displayed when double clicking on a specific schedule.  You can specify what times rules are active or inactive depending on how you highlight the schedule itself.  Note: your system clock needs to be correct in order to get the correct effect.


 



 


Creating the site and content rule with a schedule associated.


 


 


1.      


Create a new site and content rule.  Right click + click new + click rule.


 


2.      


Now name the Rule and then click next.


 


 


 


3.      


When you are presented with the rule action screen you should select Deny and click next.


 


4.      


To be able to use schedules you need to select Deny access only at certain times.


Now click next.


 


 


 


5.      


Now you are able to select a schedule.  You can select a custom schedule that you might have created or you can select a default schedule that already exists.


 


6.      


 


Read the wizard output to verify the rule is correct and then click finish.


 


7.      


After the rule has been created you can double click the rule and see it properties.  If you have created destination set you can apply this rule to it.  In this example that is what is displayed.


 


 


 


8.      


 


 If you want to apply the rule to a group of users or one user you can by clicking the applies to tab and then selecting Users and groups specified below.  Then you can add the users in your domain or forest.


 


 


Summary:  This tutorial displays the power of using a tool like site and content rules coupled with schedules. The versatility is displayed when you deny or permit users going to certain web sites at certain times.  This type of control is very useful when making full use of your bandwidth for business purposes and can become even more useful when justifying ISA in your organization.

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